DHS "Rubber Duck" Footage

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Nice work Mick. I think the issue with the Flightradar24 data for IRONS21 is that it's MLAT data, not ADSB which is, by definition, much less accurate.

https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/how-we-track-flights-with-mlat/

Darn, I should have spotted that. I thought it was only in some segments of the flight, but it looks like it's all of it. Still, the short distance is still valid.

It's a shame we don't have the full video with GPS, as that would give all the information needed.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't know where you'd get wind info for an empty bit of desert in Arizona.

Use earth.nullschool.net. The altitude is probably somewhere between 850mb (1450m) and 700mb (3000m), you can change the date and time, and then click on the map and edit the URL to set an exact location, like
https://earth.nullschool.net/#2019/...raphic=-109.43,28.16,2443/loc=-111.440,31.510


2021-10-09_23-09-11.jpg

This essentially incorporates the sounding data, but creates a more detailed model that should be more accurate for other locations.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Looks like the lines of sight converge on one point 31.515832°N -111.439852°E at an alt of 2524m
I snagged the sparse ADS-B JSON data for IRONS12 from FR24, extracted only the raw coordinates for the 40 minutes the UFO is tracked and converted to a KML path. The plane circles 11 times, but only moves (northwest) less than ten miles.
10 miles in 40 minutes is 15 mph (13 knots), so the duck's speed would be less than that.
To blow the object north-west, the wind would come from south-east, which is around 110-160 degrees.
Do we know the wind direction for that day? Ny_uap, the guy who originally released the video posted some info on Instagram about the weather conditions at that location for that date. The average wind speed was 8mph but he didn't get the direction.
Where did he source that?
 
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Here is the sounding data from a weather balloon launched 3 hrs after the event and 50 Miles North.
SmartSelect_20211010-082914_Samsung Internet.jpg
Looks like an ok match, 135° is exactly Southeast, and 10 knots is less than 13 knots (and the wind speed may have changed a little during those 3 hours).

The wind data is compatible with the idea that the duck is wind-driven.
If it has a propulsion system, it doesn't show a lot of speed.
 
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Rory

Senior Member.
Does anyone think they hid the coordinates on purpose? It's not as if there was a great reason to do so - and with them there it's very easy to see that it wasn't travelling anywhere near the claimed "90-200mph".
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Does anyone think they hid the coordinates on purpose? It's not as if there was a great reason to do so - and with them there it's very easy to see that it wasn't travelling anywhere near the claimed "90-200mph".
There also no reason not to release the unredacted version given the flight is on FR24.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Looking at the GPS Mick used to plot the arc of the airplane and the ground track of where the camera was pointing and the lines between them (see Post 33 or Mick's vid), I noted that the middle line is almost exactly ten minutes before the vaguely duck shaped pond passes through our view (as I noted in Post 18.)

Rory spotted the pond, thanks for that, I was looking way too far west! The "pond" is called Castle Rock Tank. Before I noticed that it has a name, I was thinking of it as the Duck Pond, for its shape, and it is labeled that way in images below.

So, here are those two positions:

google earth duck UFO ten minutes mick to duck pond.JPG
Assumptions made: The UFO is very close to the crossing lines in Mick's post, which I think is a good assumption, and the UFO is over the "duck pond," which is not exactly accurate, more on that below.

Looking at the distances between those points using the Doing-Math-Myself-free technique of zooming in on Google Earth until the points marked are the size of the scale at lower left, we get this:
google earth measured distance between mick UFO position and Duck pond.JPG

That distance is approximately 6,189 feet. Traveling that far in ten minutes translates to a hair over 7 miles per hour. HOWEVER...

Now, as mentioned above, the UFO is not exactly over the Duck Pond. Here is a pic from the plane looking past the UFO (seen right of center just above the road) towards Castle Rock Tank:
Capture17.JPG

And here is the Tank on Google Earth.
castlerock tank.JPG

I make it that the plane is looking back at the pond from roughly NNW, with the curving road past the Tank.

Now this bit somebody feel free to correct me about -- I am reading a range from camera to center of image of 3.8 NM call it 4.3 statute miles. If my understanding of what that number means is off, please feel free to correct me! Assuming our UFO is roughly halfway between the plane and the point on the ground where the camera is aimed, the UFO is, roughly, 2 miles NNWish of Castle Rock Tanks instead of right over it. To travel that extra two miles in the ten minutes we're looking at, we'd need to speed up Rubber Duckie up by another 14 miles an hour or so, for an average speed during those ten minutes of around 21 miles per hour.

CAVEAT: Since it does not look like the UFO traveled directly over the pond, but passed West of it to a position 2 miles or so NNW of it, the actual distance traveed will be slightly less. And if the UFO is closer to the aim point of the camera than it is to the plane, as Mick's plot seems to suggest, then the distance traveled is again slightly less. So the figure of 21 mph is giving our little duck-shaped friend the very highest speed possible, while noting that the real speed is likely a couple ofmph less. (If those few mph are critical to anybody with math skills that exceed mine, feel free to refine, but assuming I am interpretting the meaning of the "SLNT 3.8 NM" correct, I am confident that this speed is pretty close.


My conclusion: The claims being made that the UFO was traveling at 100-200 miles per hour are not supported by the distance it travels between two points in 10 minutes.


EDIT/ADDENDUM
-- I wish I had looked one more time before posting, on further review it looks to me like we are looking from the plane past the UFO to the Tank more from WNW, which shortens the line the UFO traveled by a decent chunk, if it is 2 miles or so from the Tank. That leaves the 21 miles per hour as the very highest speed I could come up with at that distance from the Tank, too high as the UFO is a bit W and S of where I'd first assumes. So it is slower than my 21 mph figure, perhaps closer to 17. I'll mess wih it more after a pause to clear my brain from trying to visualize angles to he Tank, and giving anybody a chance to spot if I made any egregious errors in my assumptions.
 
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Dilophosaurus

New Member
Capture18.JPG
I find a number of these circular reservoirs in the area between Vamori and San Miguel, the general area of the "ball of yarn" flight track. I have not yet found any along other parts of the flight track .
Capture18a_qm.JPG
This one is a decent match, but not definitively so to my eye.

This (coincidentally mildly duck shaped) water feature:
Capture17.JPG
From a few minutes earlier ought to be easier to match, I have not found it yet but since it's not about me and my personal glory I toss it out therefor anybody else who can spot it. If we could find it, and identify the circular lake wth confidence, the time and distance between them would give us a rough idea of speed of the object.
Like this? Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/UFOs/comments/q4uvks/rubber_duck_video_images_to_coordinates/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
So it appears that our friend @davefalch has deleted his Twitter account, and also his analysis of the Rubber Duck video from YouTube (his other videos remain). He had previously posted an un-redacted version of the RubberDuck video on YouTube but he quickly deleted that too. Hmmm.

This was from the source of the video.....

20211014_153349.jpg
 
So it appears that our friend @davefalch has deleted his Twitter account, and also his analysis of the Rubber Duck video from YouTube (his other videos remain). He had previously posted an un-redacted version of the RubberDuck video on YouTube but he quickly deleted that too. Hmmm.
Just read that on Lehto's channel:

Unfortunately Dave Falch had to remove his YouTube and Twitter accounts as of 12 Oct 2021. He "was advised to reformat his YouTube channel." Hopefully, he can still come on the show. We won't have access to his footage but he can still comment as a FLIR expert.
Content from External Source
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Falch has removed all his thermal camera footage. The mostly likely explanation is that his employer was unhappy with him posting about their equipment in this context. It's a shame as he had some useful videos, even if his interpretation of them was off.

2021-10-14_08-13-12.jpg
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
Dave Falch is a contributor to SCU, who are (rumour has it) are investing Rubber Duck as a genuine UAP with a large report to follow (as per Aguadilla). My guess is that his unredacted video and subsequent analysis goes against what SCU have 'found', but hey I've always been a bit of a conspiracy theorist.
 

jarlrmai

Senior Member
Dave Falch is a contributor to SCU, who are (rumour has it) are investing Rubber Duck as a genuine UAP with a large report to follow (as per Aguadilla). My guess is that his unredacted video and subsequent analysis goes against what SCU have 'found', but hey I've always been a bit of a conspiracy theorist.

Yup likely the 'opsec' was poor allowing us the small glimpse of the lat/longs. If we had the full video unredacted we could have done a really good track.

Cats out of the bag now though and given the flight is on FR24 etc there absolutely no reason what so ever to not release the unredacted video to allow the full lat longs to be traced.

I also saw a Reddit thread where some politically questionable tweets by Dave were linked.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Dave Falch is a contributor to SCU, who are (rumour has it) are investing Rubber Duck as a genuine UAP with a large report to follow (as per Aguadilla). My guess is that his unredacted video and subsequent analysis goes against what SCU have 'found', but hey I've always been a bit of a conspiracy theorist.
SCU would not have him remove ALL his FLIR videos. The only thing that really makes sense is his employer not being happy with him using company equipment to make UFO videos.
 

FastIndy

New Member
SCU would not have him remove ALL his FLIR videos. The only thing that really makes sense is his employer not being happy with him using company equipment to make UFO videos.
Agreed. With his latest videos I was loving the explanations of the systems and some new thermal footage, but I knew it was flirting with the edge of proprietary or ITAR-controlled information. The federal government takes ITAR and deemed exports very, very seriously. As an individual, you can get whacked with a $1M fine per export, with the opportunity to visit fun and exciting new prison locations in addition to that.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The federal government takes ITAR and deemed exports very, very seriously.
The obvious solution to that would have been to configure the Youtube videos to be restricted to US viewing, and let Youtube worry about the rest?
 

jhunsley

Member
Chris Letho hosted a very good live discussion on the Rubber Duck video with Dave Falch, Andy (ny_uap) and another ex Airforce guy called Michael. You can view it here - Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1ncm5iHUmk&t=5173s


It was a refreshingly good analysis from the people present. Michael was very good and gave some possible explanations for the object, including a balloon with a steerable parachute on used by the military to deliver packages to teams on the ground. I asked whether they all agreed that it has been proven beyond doubt that the object is something moving on the wind 4000ft above the ground. The consensus was yes.
 

FastIndy

New Member
The obvious solution to that would have been to configure the Youtube videos to be restricted to US viewing, and let Youtube worry about the rest?
I don't want to drag this conversation off too far into the weeds about ITAR, but I'll provide a little more detail since the systems that we are concerned with most definitely utilize designs and information that fall under the purview of ITAR. Everywhere I say "export" I'm referring to a transfer of information or technology to either an outside foreign nation or a foreign national living inside the United States. This also doesn't cover any proprietary/NDA agreements which would certainly also apply here and cause further restrictions.

ITAR regulations are intentionally broad and sweeping, and seek to regulate a pretty large swath of technical data, drawings, manuals, and general information and knowledge that can be used by foreign defense against the interests of the US. Essentially if you have data, technology, or software that can be used for defense purposes and it is not the topic of previously released public academic research, then the transfer is restricted to US persons. On top of the broad category of foreign nationals, you also can't release information to ANY agency of certain blacklisted countries. There are also corporations and individuals inside the US that have been debarred from exporting.

To post content on YouTube and just restrict to US viewing is inadequate for the main reason that foreign nationals also reside inside the United States. If a person were to do that then effectively they have exported that technology to a foreign national without an authorization. For a FLIR system of the type that we're looking at here, to provide any kind of deeper technical information beyond the basic physics would be flirting with prosecution.

To further drive this home, if I was carrying technical data in an un-encrypted USB stick and temporarily allowed that stick out of my sight while passing through a security checkpoint at a foreign airport, I could be prosecuted for an unauthorized export. Just talking about it makes me a little bit tight around the collar.
 

MapperGuy

New Member
For those of us with limited attention spans, could someone please post when, in the 30 minute video, something interesting is supposed to be happening?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
For those of us with limited attention spans, could someone please post when, in the 30 minute video, something interesting is supposed to be happening?
The last 10 minutes or so, when the rubber duck arrives and floats along as the plane circles it.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The wind data is compatible with the idea that the duck is wind-driven.
If it has a propulsion system, it doesn't show a lot of speed.
compare:
The results of this analysis support the conclusion that the object cannot be explained as any known natural phenomenon or by any known technology used for aeronautical propulsion.
Content from External Source
A wind-blown balloon (or trash bag) is not natural, and it has no propulsion.
But it's not "worthy of scientific investigation".
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Section C basically says that it could be a wind-blown object except for its speed.

SmartSelect_20221123-144955_Samsung Notes.jpg
Content from External Source
If their speed determination is flawed, the analysis collapses.

(Why would they assume that the object is "circling the ground"?)
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
SmartSelect_20221123-150125_Samsung Notes.jpg
Content from External Source
They assume the object is circling with the aircraft for their Appendix A analysis, which means they assume propulsion going into the analysis, which makes the resulting conclusion of the object having propulsion circular.

Metabunk has shown that the data fits a wind-driven object, but despite the report's dedication to that "null hypothesis" in the main part, the appendix A never considers it.
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
They assume the object is circling with the aircraft for their Appendix A analysis, which means they assume propulsion going into the analysis, which makes the resulting conclusion of the object having propulsion circular.
Again, as per their Aguadilla analysis, they have completely ignored the parallax effect.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Again, as per their Aguadilla analysis, they have completely ignored the parallax effect.
ironically, someone on their team was aware of it
SmartSelect_20221123-154204_Samsung Notes.jpg
... motion parallax along with the trajectory of the object with respect to the plane may produce a false appearance of high velocity.
Content from External Source
From Appendix A-4 (where the picture in my previous post is from):
SmartSelect_20221123-154749_Samsung Notes.jpg
Content from External Source
Their options are
• stationary
• short circular trajectory

None of these is consistent with "wind-blown object", which all of their observations except for the Appendix A analysis supports; but the Appendix A fails to consider it.

It's hard to believe that this omission is not intentional.
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
Their options are
• stationary
• short circular trajectory

None of these is consistent with "wind-blown object", which all of their observations except for the Appendix A analysis supports; but the Appendix A fails to consider it.

It's hard to believe that this omission is not intentional.
Yeah, I'd have thought they would have considered a Linear Trajectory hypothesis, even if they proceeded to reject it. But no - not considered at all. Weird. o_O
 

FatPhil

Senior Member.
Again, as per their Aguadilla analysis, they have completely ignored the parallax effect.

Do they assume, measure, deduce/calculate the height of the object? With mundane assumptions, parallax and height are proxies for each other, they might be dealing with parallax without calling it that.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
Do they assume, measure, deduce/calculate the height of the object? With mundane assumptions, parallax and height are proxies for each other, they might be dealing with parallax without calling it that.
it would be great if you could have a look at the PDF as well

from what I can see, the author uses angles (plus some assumptions about the orientation of the aircraft), and assumes some fixed distance.
I didn't notice any attempt to fix sight lines by identifying the terrain the camera is pointing at.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
I wonder if they are confusing the coordinates for where the camera is pointing on the ground with coordinates of the "duck." Which I guess is another way of saying they forgot about the parallax, but with numbers and math and stuff!
 

flarkey

Senior Member.
Staff member
I wonder if they are confusing the coordinates for where the camera is pointing on the ground with coordinates of the "duck." Which I guess is another way of saying they forgot about the parallax, but with numbers and math and stuff!
Possibly, but all we know for sure is that the 'duck' is somewhere on a line between those two points. If we know th distance then we can work out exactly where the duck is. Unfortunatley we dont know the distance aircraf-to-duck.

In my Aguadilla analysis I used a method that used the lines of sight across the duration of the video to find a common straight line path for the UFO. It produced a possible straight line path for the object which is very similar to the path that Mick's Sitrec produced. This graphic summarises the method...

1669226794864.png

I used the data and kml file that mick generated to view the event in Google Earth...
1669227224838.png
I oriented the view until all the lines converged on one path. This provides the direction that the object was moving. From that we can determine the elevation at 3 points along this line to provide the 3d path of the object...


1669226950955.png

If we assume the duck is on a straight line path we could use this method again to determine its assumed straight line path, but we'd need to model the event by noting the Aircraft Lat-Long-Alt, and the boresight Lat-Long-Elevation every 30 seconds or so to get enough data points. That is the arduous bit!
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah, I'd have thought they would have considered a Linear Trajectory hypothesis, even if they proceeded to reject it. But no - not considered at all. Weird. o_O
Incredibly weird, as it seems by far the most obvious hypothesis, and the one that best fits the data. They seem to start off assuming the object is moving parallel to the plane:

Reali, Page 13. https://www.metabunk.org/attachments/reali_rubber-duck_final2-zenodo_update_11-13-22-pdf.56288/
It is at first glance difficult to determine the speed of the object as both the object is moving as well as the plane and the pointing angles of the camera, as the camera operator manually tracks the object. After some consideration, if we imagine that the object is stationary then it would move off the screen as the plane moves to the left. Since the object stays approximately stationary on the screen, with the plane falling behind slowly or moving ahead faster, as the camera operator tries to keep the object centered, we can reduce the object’s velocity Vo(t) to its vector components of Vto tangential velocity parallel to the plane (this is what is projected on the camera’s screen) and Vtn the normal velocity to the plane that add up to form Vo(t), the object’s velocity, as long as the camera operator keeps the object approximately locked to the screen. This gives a velocity estimate of object if it stays on the screen to within about + 7.09% standard deviation
Content from External Source
(emphasis mine)

This completely ignores that if you circle a stationary (or slow moving) object, then it will stay in the center of the screen. i.e. they seem to ignore the continuous rotation of the plane itself (and hence the camera).

This seems reminiscent of their ridiculous error in the Aguadilla analysis, (where they assumed that if the background position in teh video did not change from frame to frame then all the motion of the object between those frames was actual motion of that object - which it wasn't as the plane was obvious still moving)

More bad reasoning: Reali, Page 19
We know from the meta data that the plane is circling a location on the ground as previously shown in Figure A8 and since it is keeping the object centered on the screen, the object is also circling a location on the ground. As a result, we know that both the plane and object are circling the same location on the ground, approximately but the object’s distance from the plane is unknown so its tangential velocity is not known exactly.
Content from External Source
The plane is NOT "circling a location on the ground", it's describing a spiral that moves to the North. It's essentially circling a slowly moving object. So by far the simplest explanation is that it's circling the object, which itself is slowly moving north.

This table is bemusing (Reali, page 22)
2022-11-23_10-30-00.jpg
The calculate speed of the object drops to zero at zero altitude. That would only make sense if the plane was circling a point at zero altitude and keeping the camera pointed at it, and the object being roughly centered. I think this is indicative of some deep misunderstanding.

The wind speeds here are, of course, consistent with the slow linear motion of the center of the spiral.
 
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